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NPR Can't Stop Playing Habib Koite's "L.A."

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Wednesday May 28, 2014

From National Public Radio

Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing
By: Emmanuel Nado

For his latest album, Soo, Malian singer-songwriter and guitarist Habib Koite let go of his standard rhythm guitar and replaced it with the banjo, one of the few times I’ve heard a contemporary African pop artist use what’s essentially an African instrument. “L.A.” is particularly great; I like the way Koite’s banjo player uses the instrument at times as rhythm guitar, at times for the melody. The lyrics are funny for those who understand Bambara, the popular language of the Malian people — they poke fun at Koite and American blues artist Eric Bibb’s tour in the U.S., and compare various landscapes of California to those of Mali.

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